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Christopher Robert "Chris" Iwelumo (born 1 August 1978) is a Scottishmarker football who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Scotland national football team as a striker.

Born in Coatbridgemarker, Iwelumo started his career with St Mirren before moving to Danishmarker club Aarhus Fremad for two years. A move to Stoke City in 2000 saw him sent out on loan to several teams before a short-lived spell with German Bundesliga side Alemannia Aachen. After moving to the Football League Championship with Colchester United and then Charlton Athletic, he signed for Wolves in 2008 as they won promotion to the FA Premier League, winning Player of the Month in November.

Iwelumo's father is Nigerianmarker and his mother is Scottish. He won his first cap as a full Scottish international coming on as a substitute against Norway in a 2010 World Cup qualifier in 2008, notable for his missing an open goal from only yards out as the match finished 0–0 - an event which Iwelumo has said "tortured" him. He had his first international start in a friendly against Argentina in November that year.

Club career

Born to a Nigerianmarker father and a Scottishmarker mother, Iwelumo started his footballing career at the Scottish Premier League club St Mirren in August 1996 as a trainee.

Iwelumo had only made nineteen appearances for St Mirren before his performances were being noticed and in early 1998, Aarhus Fremad of Denmarkmarker signed him up. Aarhus released him two years later in February 2000 and he had a trial at Preston North End before signing a four year deal with Stoke City.

Later that year Iwelumo was sent out on loan to York City where he made eleven appearances before returning to Stoke. He remained there before being loaned out again to Cheltenham Town in February 2001. He played four times for Cheltenham Town, scoring once before being recalled back from his loan by Stoke City where he managed to build on his appearances without actually gaining a regular place in the first team, his most notable contribution possibly being the equalizer in the Potteries derby on 21 October 2001. He signed a two-year contract extension with Stoke in March 2002.

Barnsley revealed an interest in signing Iwelumo in January 2004. He was subject of a loan move once more when he moved to Brighton & Hove Albion in March 2004. and when he returned to the club two months later, he was released, after four years at the club.

German Bundesliga side Alemannia Aachen signed Iwelumo on a free transfer in July 2004, after rejecting a two-year deal from Brighton. However his stay at Aachen was short-lived, and he was released after just six months and nine substitute appearances. Iwelumo signed for Colchester United in July 2005. On 28 November 2006, he scored four goals as Colchester demolished Hull City 5–1 in a Championship league match. Whilst at Colchester, he helped them achieve promotion to the Championship in 2006 and finish in a club record 10th position the following season.

Iwelumo rejected a new contract offer from Colchester on 21 May 2007, and on the same day signed for Charlton Athletic on a free transfer. In the 2007–08 season he featured in every league game and was the Addicks' top goalscorer; he was also named the Championship's player of the month for November 2007 after scoring last minute winning goals in two consecutive games.

It was confirmed that he could leave Charlton as part of cost-cutting measures and he eventually signed for fellow Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in July 2008. Iwelumo scored a hat-trick for Wolves against Preston North End in a 3–1 win, taking his goal tally to eight for the season, where he was also sent off for an apparent head-butt on Preston's defender Sean St Ledger, which Wolves appealed against. However, the appeal was turned down, despite St Ledger stating that the clash of heads was accidental and he served a three-match ban.

His early season form in front of goal earned him November's Championship Player of the Month Award. However, after this run of form he entered goalless drought of 16 games before netting against his former club Charlton. His season was ended prematurely after a dreadful high tackle from Lee Carsley in the game against promotion rivals Birmingham City left him with medial ligament damage.

He regained fitness over the summer break but suffered more injury woe as he broke his metatarsal in Wolves' opening pre-season game against Australian club Perth Glory.

International career

Iwelumo was called up for the Scotland squad to tour South Koreamarker in 2002 but had to withdraw as his club Stoke City were involved in the Football League Championship play-offs. In November 2007, he was named in the Scotland B team for a friendly against Republic of Ireland B, which he featured in as Scotland drew 1–1. He was once again called up to the full Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifying match against Norway at Hampden Parkmarker on 11 October. He came on as a 57th minute substitute in that game to make his debut, his performance was overshadowed by his open goal miss from three yards, in a match that finished 0–0.

Iwelumo tortured himself for days after his horror open-goal miss in the 0–0 draw, constantly watching video replays of the incident. Iwelumo is determined not to be remembered for the miss, stating "I'm a proud Scot, I love my country and it's my dream to do well for them."

He was recalled for his first international start in a friendly against Argentina on 19 November 2008.

Honours

Wolverhampton Wanderers


References



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